Melness, a Crofting Community on the North Coast of Sutherland"

Dr. James Coull
Scottish Studies, 7, (1963).

Used by Kind Permission of Dr Coull

To help you use these pages of this Study on Melness there are the following links - "yellow text" Click to check the References page and Maroon text with Mouseover Popup explanations of words and terms.

Loch á Mhuilinn above Melness Farm - proposed site of Wind Farm  - Photo © Iain Morrison

1 C. C. Evidence, 1884, Vol. II, p. 1597.
2 See 6" O.S. map, 1st edition (1878).
3 C.C. Report, 1891, pp. 2-6.
4 Information from Mr. A. G. Mackay, Skinnid.
5 C.C. Evidence, 1884, Vol. II, p. 1604.
6 C.C. Report, 1896, p. 109.
7 C.C. Evidence, 1884, Vol. II, p. 1601.
8 e.g. O.S.A. 1792: 526-7;
N.S.A. 1845: 186-7;
C.C. Evidence, Vol. II, p. 1596.


ADAM, M. I. 1921 "18th Century Highland Landlords and the Poverty Problem". Scottish Historical Review 19: 161-79.
EDWARDS-MOSS, J. E. 1888 A Season in Sutherland. London.
GUNN, Rev. ADAM and MACKAY, JOHN 1897 Sutherland and the Reay Country. Glasgow.
MACKAY, ANGUS 1906 The House of Mackay. Edinburgh.
N.S.A. 1845 The New Statistical Account of Scotland, Vol. 15 (Sutherland). Edinburgh.
O.S.O. 1792 The Statistical Account of Scotland, Vol. 3. Edinburgh.
SINCLAIR, J. 1795 Agriculture of the Northern Highlands. London.
ST. JOHN, C. 1884 A Tour in Sutherland. Edinburgh.

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Additional information and images

Talmine Island from Ard Skinnet - Photo © Iain Morrison

Talmine Island. The supposed place where the Shamrock went aground on the 26 November 1865. The Shamrock was a sloop of 15 tons with two of a crew. She departed Thurso for Tongue carrying meal and 1 passenger. It was stranded and was a total Loss and one life was lost. The wind was Northerly at Force 9 so the Shamrock would have been driven on Shore into Talmine Bay.

Portvasgo Ruins  - Photo © Iain Morrison

Ruins near the harbour at Port Vasgo.

Under the proper conditions, peat is the earliest stage in the formation of coal. In many countries, including Scotland, where trees are often scarce, peat is traditionally used for cooking and domestic heating. Stacks of drying peat extracted from the Moine and other areas can still be seen. More importantly Peat fires are used to dry malted barley for use in Scotch whisky distillation. This gives Scotch whisky its distinctive smoky flavour, often called "peatiness".